Category Archives: CeCe’s Blog
As of late, I received word from our family out in Charlottesville, VA (shoutout to Joe, Donna, Luis and all at APOC) that a young (trans) girl has went missing as of Nov 20th, 2012. What’s even more saddening is the lack of effort given by the Charlottesville “Police” Dept. Again, we see that the term “protect and serve” is limited to those they feel deserve their time and efforts, especially seeing that I also got word that two college students (as of recent) (Caucasian and cissexual) went missing, and news was all over it! A foundation in honor of one of the women was even started, yet police and media have been extremely dismissive of Sage’s case.
So now it’s our time to shine people! We can get involved! We need to show sage, Sage’s family, friends, and our family in Charlottesville that we got their back@ Please I urge everyone to please, please, PLEASE get involved! Call the Charlottesville Police Department and tell them to get busy finding Sage! Nothing will be done unless we make them! Just think, this could’ve been your brother, sister, friend, cousin, or it even could’ve been you, and I know and you know that if it were us in their shoes we would want all that could be done in our efforts to be done, right?!? Please people again, I urge you to get involved. We can’t let another of our own slip away! Let’s get justice!
You can get in touch with APOC at:
302 8th St. Nw
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Additional information and updates will be posted!
Inspiration for the Final 12
Each month this year I want to give inspirational food for thought. Since this is my “final 12” I want to keep myself motivated, inspired, and in positive energy. So… who’s with me? Feel free to copy and paste!
“Nothing in this world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”
-W. Somerset Maugham
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. And sings the tuns without the words, and never stops at all.”
One of my favorite TV shows in the world is “Sex and the City.” And even though the show has been in reruns, I feel that no episode is less entertaining than the last time. I guess with that said, I’ll get to the point.
In this particular episode, Samantha revealed to Carrie that she was going to have a threesome with two gay guys, and that she couldn’t pass up a chance to sleep with two hot guys, whether they were gay and/or straight. And as she explains this “sexportunity,” (that term is my own, you like?) Carrie is giving her the “I-know-you’re-serious-but-you-can’t-be-serious” face. Samantha retorts back with, “What?” Then Carrie says, “They’re GAAAAY!” Then something very questionable, yet very mature, came out of Samantha. She says, “So what? Sex is sex. As the world evolves, people will embrace pansexuality, and we will sleep with people as individuals and not based on sexuality” (might not be the exact quotes, but it’s something of the likeness).
So, the question is, how true is this, and how true could it be? In a world where people struggle day to day to be accepted in a society that tries to maintain its “vanilla-ness,” this could only work if people could see a person for more than just their physical. But, with that said, we will still always be attracted to our own personal likes.
I can understand this theory on many different levels, having many experiences with men and women, but also knowing that my attraction is more than what I see, but how I feel.
Being a (trans) woman, I constantly have to deal with men, now more than ever since being in here. And with that I’m always faced with having to explain the “laws of attraction,” and why they have these feelings. As of recently I’ve become very close with this guy and we’ve become the best of friends. We discuss our dreams, goals, relationships or anything that we might want to share with the other. Then one day he says to me, “I don’t like men—“ I butt in “I don’t identify as male.” “But… I want you to know that if I love you, it’s for you…” At that moment I really didn’t know how to feel because for the first time, in a long time, a man can admit to falling in love with me or anyone for who they are. As he identify as “straight,” and so do most of the men I date… or, “other.” I know that they are attracted to my femininity, and I know I’m as femme as they come. But, as a bonus, if the person is willing to really get to know me, then they are intrigued and attracted to my intelligence, my independence, and even my meek submissiveness. It’s even funny sometimes to see men become hypermasculine creatures to assure themselves of their own “straightness” by proclaiming their love for vagina or by challenging another man to push-up competitions. I just think it’s about time for masculine men to embrace who and what they are attracted to, and learn to stop going for physical and focus on mental, emotional, and spiritual connections. This is also true for women, so don’t think you all got out of this easily.
Even for myself, I found myself saying I can’t like girls, that that ship has sailed and the attraction wasn’t there. That was until I became more experienced in the world, and learning about femininity and masculinity. The more I understood about myself the more I realized what it was I was actually attracted to. And this all became very clear to me when I kept encountering actions and reactions between me and a close friend who was a very masculine stud. She would always compliment me on my prettiness, or my body, or my fashionable style. The flirting became something of the norm, and it really made me contemplate my feelings for her, and how different it felt that it was a her. Then one night, after me and some friends left the gay club downtown, there she was. Was it even more a “coincidence” that we were both at the same club that night? We shared a couple of dances, but mostly were with those we came with. As I stood there, being P.G.T. (Pretty Girl Tipsy), she came over to tell me my dress was fitting right and how good of a dancer I was. All I could do was smile and blush. As the club poured out from closing, and people mingled, there we were making jokes about her fucking me and it didn’t seem weird at all. That led to her kissing me and to me it felt good. Me, the girl who was penis obsessed, is kissing a stud in the middle of the walkway while the gaybies around us cheer and whistle. So there I had to admit that it wasn’t the fact that I was kissing a girl, because that didn’t matter anymore. Her masculinity was what turned me on. After I realized that I understood myself more than ever. I was starting to see people as individuals, and being attracted to both men and women was all in the case of femininity and masculinity.
So there is the possibility that pansexualism can be the evolution of the world, but that can only proceed through acceptance of others and ourselves, and I know that that is something that I try to reiterate as much as often in these posts. With acceptance comes love, and with love comes happiness. And who doesn’t want to be happy? Just something to think about.
I want to thank everyone for their support and their fundraising to make sure that I maintain and otherwise. But now I want you to divert your efforts to our sister, Estrellita, who needs our help. Please help her and show her the same love and support that you all gave me. All the information is posted, so let’s save our girl and get this done for her!
Queer political prisoner in detention needs your help!
This holiday season, give the gift of helping an inspiring young political prisoner be freed from the confines of the immigration detention center in Florence, AZ where she is currently held. Her name is Estrellita and she is seeking help paying her bond, which she expects to be around $3500. Here is what she writes:
“Hola, mi nombre es Estrellita y estoy detenida en Florence, AZ. Yo necesito de su ayuda. Mi familia me odia por ser homosexual, y no tengo el apoyo de nadie, solamente de Casa Mariposa y Raul. Mi situacion es la siguiente: Ya pedi asilo politico y ya fui a la entrevista y pase. Lo unico que me falta es de la fianza y las cartas de apoyo. Les boy a agradecer toda mi vida si me ayudar con la fianza. Yo se que afuera hay angeles y se los boy a agradecer mucho. Mi corte la tengo para el 31 de energo para lo de la fianza. Ayudenme please please!”
“Hello, my name is Estrellita and I am detained in Florence, AZ. I need your help. My family hates me for being homosexual, and I do not have the help of anyone, only Casa Mariposa and Raul. My situation is the following: I asked for political asylum and went to my [credible fear] interview and passed. The one things left are the bond and letters of support. I will be grateful for all of my life if you help me with the bond. I know that outside there are angels and I will appreciate them very much. My court for bond is January 31. Help me please please!”
The Rainbow Defense Fund will be collecting funds for Estrellita, with the goal of raising $3500 by January 31st so she can be released as soon as a bond is set. Please donate online through Paypal or send a check made out to “Restoration Project, Florence” to: Attn: Rainbow Defense Fund; Casa Mariposa; 127 N. Palomas Ave; Tucson, AZ 85745.
Thank you so much!
I just want to say that my prayers and condolences goes out to the families, friends, and loved ones who were affected and hurt by the tragedy that happened in Newtown, CT. I’m sending all the love I can to all of those affected.
I also want to make a statement to all those who want to be so analytical and make irrational connections from things in the media to that tragic incident. How can you point out all the things that are now “wrong,” from songs on the radio to movies, and that possibly don’t have any connection to the incident, which in itself is very upsetting. But have you ever chastised yourself for eating food when there are babies in other countries that die from hunger EVERY DAY? Or do you point the finger at yourself for crawling into your bed at night knowing that there are children homeless and literally living on the street from displacement? So people shouldn’t be so quick to point fingers and say what other people should and shouldn’t do because there is no innocence for anyone if you’re not helping any cause that can help anyone.
This is my opinion and if it offends you, then you are one of the people I’m talking about. Just something to think about.
So this might sound weird, but I got inspired to write this from a Jerry Springer episode I just finished watching. It was really sad to watch, moreso for this young man who was clearly upset because he couldn’t be the person he wanted to be. He came on the show to tell his then-girlfriend that he was cheating on her with a guy, and that him and his boyfriend were dating for as long as he and she were. So the girl comes out and he tell her that he love her and she’s a really good person… but I’ve been cheating on you… with a guy. So as the girl and the guy discuss their “relationship” and their feelings for each other, Jerry chimes in and say, “I’m not saying that you can’t love who you want, but why would you date her if you were attracted to men?” And she says, “So I was just a cover-up.” Then shit got real on Jerry, and it even touched some people in the audience. With tears welling in his eyes, he looked at Jerry and said, “No one knows what it’s like being me, having to be bullied in school and being teased for being who I wanted to be. It really hurted…and I didn’t mean to hurt anybody. I just didn’t know what to do.”
At that moment the cameraman showed people in the audience wipe tears away as this man pour our his soul and release his burdens on that stage in front of everybody in that audience, and the millions of people watching on television, including me. Knowing his story is one that is too common and is relatable to many. All I wanted to do was give him a consoling hug and let him know that he isn’t alone and that his acceptance and proclamation was brave and that will make him stronger, no doubt in my mind.
But it’s situations like that that make me so upset with society in this day and age. Why is it that we (or I should say “they”) can’t come to terms with acceptance of difference? That this world is greater than any person, and that the complexity of everything around us, from the planets and stars in the galaxies to the smallest atom of our being, can’t be put into a box, like most people’s minds are, and their understanding of complex things, including love. And we all know love is just as complex as the stars and planets in the galaxies and the atoms which make up all that we are and everything else that is both known and unknown to humans. What’s even sadder is that some people can even believe in a possibility of extra terrestrial life (and not that I’m saying that it couldn’t be a possibility along with other possible ideas of our vast universe)—why is it so hard to believe that on Earth, there is difference among the people here? What I’m trying to say in simplest form is that people can accept things that are beyond us, whatever that may be, but we keep those in our society in turmoil by not being able to accept the “possibility” and actuality that people of same genders can intimately love each other or that some of us would rather live our lives as the gender we want instead of the one we were “assigned.”
Now that we are going into a new year, I think it’s time we all choose to live like we feel is best for us. If you are living for someone else, now should be the time to decide what’s best for you, whether it be a career change, a new location, or finally, loving the person (or people) you want to! Please don’t limit yourself to anything that would better you, and make you love yourself most importantly. Learn to be accepting and learn to love, not just others but YOURSELF! And if you think there is not one person who loves you, know that I do… Be comfortable being you, and don’t let ANYONE take that away from you. I think Rachel Jose said it best: “Be a Fruit Loop in a world full of Cheerios!” Originality always wins!
Love you lots! I’ll see you next year!
Happy Holidays and be safe,
p.s. Please learn more about Black Transwomen Nationwide Advocacy and Black Transmen Inc., and please try to attend the 2nd Annual Black Transmen Advocacy Conference if you can (March 13-17, 2013 in Dallas).
So the season of giving is upon us, and for this year we should think outside the box. With all of the suffering and turmoil going on on in the world, “giving” should mean more than cashmere sweaters or the latest technical device. So here is the 31 days of giving list. Please do what you can and help those less fortunate, or that can make a change in someone’s life. This is what I want for Christmas.
Help train a service pet by donating $5 to canineassistants.org. This small gift covers the cost of feeding a puppy for a week. These puppies are being trained to aid people with disabilities.
Nearly 50 million Americans are facing hunger, so by giving $21 to feedingamerica.org you can help provide food for a family for two weeks.
By donating your old phone to cellphonesforsoldiers.com, they can recycle them and use the proceeds to buy calling cards for our troops abroad. If you think about it, you’re helping the environment and helping a soldier make a call to someone they love!
A $50 donation to uniteforsight.org gives surgery to one of 94 million people who are blinded or visually impaired by cataracts.
Help rehabilitate women who’ve been trafficked by going to senhoa.org , who hires survivors to make jewelry, and help them safely transition back into society.
Go to bethematch.org to see if you’re eligible to donate bone marrow, which can save the life of someone battling blood cancer or any other blood or bone illness.
By going to cityyear.org and signing up you can tutor and assist in an at-risk classroom for 10 months. Each year, a million teens drop out of school, but the time you invest can take away one less person from that, and help a teen graduate!
More than 800 babies are born with HIV daily in Africa, but by donating $50 to m2m.org, they can teach an expecting mom how to avoid tranmission.
Donate your wedding gown or veil to bridesagainstbreastcancer.org, and they’ll sell it at a bridal show and help pay for support groups for patients.
At projectnightnight.org, a $20 donation provides a blanket, book, and stuffed toy to one of the 334,819 kids in shelters nationwide.
Beautify a city park by giving $15 to tpl.org which goes toward playground equipment in a new or renovated green space for boys and girls across the U.S.
$50 to nursefamilypartnership.org coaches five first-time moms about healthy pregnancies and smart parenting.
Save a life in South Sudan and donate $5 to doc2dock.org which helps them ship unused supplies from hospitals here in the U.S. to remote clinics, where shortages threaten lives.
Giving $25 to youngwomenforchange.org donates a desk to the first-ever female-only web cafe in Kabul.
$10 to petfinderfoundation.com vaccinates four shelter dogs or five cats, keeping them ready for adoption.
Invest in health by giving $50 to actionforhealthykids.org, which buys PE tools for a class in a struggling district. 17% of America’s youth is obese and this can help our youth to be healthy and live longer, healthier lives.
Go to stjude.org and donate to help children with deadly illnesses like leukemia and cancer. These kids can use all the help we can give them, so no donation is too small or too big.
In honor of Yeardley Love, who was killed by an ex-boyfriend, and all the other countless acts of domestic violence, you can go to joinonelove.org and educate yourself and others to prevent abuse.
$25 to givekidstheworld.org helps affected families take a vacation to its Florida resort. You can pay for a terminally ill child’s getaway!
Volunteer from your desk and go to sparked.com. The site asks about your skills and passions, then gives ideas for using your talents to better the world.
Help fight lung cancer and donate to lcfamerica.org. Proceeds fund research to predict, detect, and treat the top cancer killer among Americans.
Take care of amputees and donate $300 to brac.net which provides a prosthetic arms or leg to a Haitian who lost a limb due to the 2010 earthquake.
Order a new book from worldbooks.com for your or/and a friend, and they’ll send one to a needy child in the U.S. or abroad.
Spend a day at one of Women Build’s 27 sites and help put a low-income family into a home.
For $25 to deaeducationalfoundation.org , one girl can attend afterschool dance classes for 10 weeks, which means you’re helping keep an at-risk youth drug-free and off the streets.
Help TYSN help our at-risk trans youth by providing safe space, training, education etc. by donating at transyouthsupportnetwork.org and help the organization I love with all my heart. Any donation works!
Spent $120 on a feed tote full of gourmet snacks (deandeluca.com) and, 15 meals go to kids in Africa, Asia, or the Middle East.
Soothe a scared kid and send stuffed animals to projectsmile.org; police officers and paramedics will hand them out to trauma victims.
For $150, landesa.org secures a plot for a woman in India to live and grow food with her family.
teamrubiconusa.org uses your $11 donation to keep a veteran ready to deploy to crisis areas, like New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy.
Every dollar to happyheartsfund.org helps rebuild schools after devastation around the globe.
Now! With your heart filled with giving you can start the New Year with a new outlook on life, and feeling good about being a humanitarian. Also, if there is any organization that was not mentioned that you would like to donate to, then donate. What matters is that you’re making a difference for someone out in the world. i love you all, and have a wonderful and Happy Holidays!
In light of Trans Day of Remembrance, this letter is more of a proposal to the LGBTQI community, specifically to my wonderful sisters of the “transnation.” My objective of this letter is to share ideas and ignite a spark in the women (and I use the term woman broadly to express all women and not having to put “trans” in front of the term. We are all WOMEN, be it that that’s what you identify as, and I don’t speak for all women but those who identify as such) to change our perspective of our communities (be it our neighborhoods, abroad, and the LGBTQI communities) and ourselves.
I want all my beautiful people to take the time to process this proposal, and take an initiative to better our communities and ourselves. To put forth an effort to have our voices heard and to let the world know we exist and the issues that affect us aren’t being acknowledged, nor solved.
This all came about from a letter that I received, followed by some paperwork for review for the Trans Youth Support Network‘s (TYSN) Leadership Development Program, and a Tarot reading I gave myself. But it all made sense when I was trying to sleep, which is usually when I have these epiphanies, and the word “collaborative” steadily flashed in my head and it continued until it was clear to me, as in it I opened my mind’s eye. I sat up and pieced it all together and there bloomed the inspiration to put this together. I want to share these series of events that led to the light-bulb going off over my head, and my proposal to people all over who want to make changes and have OUR voices heard.
It all started with a very artistic letter (which I’m sure took a while to write) from Alexander K. out in Philadelphia. I’m going to share this with you all, then I will incorporate my feelings of what I read in my conclusion of this proposal:
I am writing to you from the City of Brotherly Love—Philadelphia.
Last Saturday, I marched alongside 300 of my brothers and sisters, neighbors, family, and friends at the second Philadelphia Trans March.
It was amazing to see such a display of strength and solidarity from our community and allies in the wake of tragedy. Last month, we lost a young (trans)woman of color to violence. Her name was Kyra Kruz, and she is remembered as a bright and truly beautiful person—already such a vital force of good in Philly, and taken [my emphasis] from us too soon, as it happens too often.
My time with Kyra was brief, yet her impact was priceless. As a teenager the first time I really came out as trans, as much to myself as other people, was at a group for trans and gender questioning youth Kyra revived and breathed new life into as a leader.
The trans community in Philly, like the whole, is large and diverse, and I’d be lying if I said we’re one big happy family. But we are a family. Even though, at times, we might treat each other poorly, our time together brief, even if we’ve never met. Sometimes we forget about it. But it can be such a source of profound joy, and the only was to get through the worst things in life. I was remembered of this during a vigil held for Kyra at our LGBTQI community center, where the service had been delayed to allow the entirety of staff and young people from the youth center. In particular I was incredibly moved by the presence of the Center’s trans and questioning youth, and words from Kyra’s co-visionary and co-mentor. He spoke about his decision to bring them to show them the importance of standing together in pain as well as celebration, instilling hope and an earnest call for love and support.
I consider you a part of our family.
I have heard your story from close friends and strangers, and although in many ways distant, it is a blessing beyond words that you are still with us.
Now, prior to this I’ve had many conversations with my lovely friend and colleague Katie Burgess (Executive Director of TYSN) about my future beyond the “concrete chaos,” which includes my position at TYSN and how my position of leadership can bring a change to TYSN and how the “world” views (trans)women, for the better. And after reading the letter from Alexander, having this feeling of anger and sadness from the death of Kyra, it felt that I wanted to take on this challenge of being a leader now more than ever. It was fate that at the moment of having these feelings, I received a review packet of TYSN’s Leadership Program with all these wonderful ideas and solid policies. And of course, me being the optimistic and sometime overly-anxious person that I am, I was so charged to get to business.
And like any person with optimism, sometimes it can be scary and overwhelming, especially when it’s a job or craft that one enjoy and cherish, like this is for me. And I don’t know how to handle it, all these ideas and feelings and wanting to go all in. So I felt a little lost and had all these questions that felt unanswered. For me, I go to my faith which is anything spiritual. From prayer to yoga, I do it all. For this, I was drawn to my Tarot cards (thanks Kat!) and it seemed like they read into my soul and hit dead on. I asked the deck: “How does leadership and my future come together and how do I handle it, and is this where I should be (referring to being a leader)?” After I asked, I closed my eyes and took some deep breaths. I pulled four cards and laid them out. I opened my eyes and there was the Two of Bones (ed.: this card speaks to the magical nature of change, and life as a series of decisions to be made), the Instructor (aka the Hierophant) (ed.: this card reflects on institutions, hierarchies, and tradition; the image is of an instructor who has “created or inherited her institution and … is now devoted to maintaining it”), Mentor of Bottles (ed: The Mentor of Bottles represents a leader who acts with responsibility, mastery, experience, calm, and tolerance.), and The Code (ed.: This card speaks to the rules and structures that hold power in communities, which can benefit us as well as constrain us.).
After giving myself such a relevant and accurate reading, I know that this is where I belong (referring to being a leader). That most times in our lives we question our greatness, and sometimes feel that we won’t or can’t deal with the pressures of being leaders, to own the power to have authority and make changes, even if it’s what we want the baddest in life. And from the Leadership Development Program review, I know that our beliefs can be passed on and taught to our future leaders of the LGBTQI community. To have rights and a voice. To be able to walk in this world, not afraid and actually feel like a human being and not a shadow in a corner. At TYSN, we believe that our trans youth know themselves, believe in each other, can create the basis of respect by understanding our fears, are all teachers and learners all the time, that we are all mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters and sons, but most importantly we are all worth it, worthy, beautiful, strong, more than a binary, are able to become self-actualized, can and have already succeeded as a person, and of course, leaders. We need to understand this now more than ever. We need to not only celebrate for Trans Day of Remembrance, but also become self-aware and ready to put an end to our community being the focus of violence. Of course it is more than important to recognize and pay homage to our fallen, but we also need to put our feet down and start being real leaders and making this stand. And personally speaking, if it’s true that this is my personal journey as a leader, I want to lead my troops to victory. I can’t continue to say “how bad” that another brother, sister, mother, father, partner, friend is gone from blind-hatred. From ignorance and discrimination.
I would have rather been punished for asserting myself than become another victim of hatred. No, I’m not saying violence is key or all people should react the way I did, but our communities, whether here or abroad, have become the victim of malicious and hateful crimes. We need to start now. Make your voices heard. Reach out to the lawmakers, hell get it to the president if we have to. But we need to stop and work from inside out. We need to find strong leaders who can handle the pressures of being just that. Also we need to stop “throwing so much shade” to each other. All that anger that we direct towards each other should be directed at its true source, the people who treat us badly. The politicians who act like we don’t exist and don’t focus on the rights and safety of the LGBTQI people, especially (trans)women. I would be lying if I said that I once wasn’t a shady girl, but now I am a woman who wants to be a role model and a leader for the (trans)woman of the 21st century. To be unmarginalized and recognized for who I am, and who we are: strong, wonderful, loving women, and that we are people. That femininity can be as, if not more, strong and resilient than masculinity. That we deserve the same rights as any heterosexual, cissexual, or any person who objects against our being. It kills me to know that a man, or any person with a penis, can get a “genital pump,” with medial insurance, but we as (trans)women have to struggle with costs for GRS and other trans related medical issues, some of which hare not even considerable for insurance coverage. Crazy, right?
So my proposal is for all the organizations who are for growth of the (trans) youth, for the growth of OUR communities and such, to now take a collaborative into effect. To connect and extend to other organizations. To start building leaders and making changed for the better. At TYSN we believe that we can bring the (trans) community together, that we can foster the creation of POWERFUL art, that we can change the world, that we can create empowerment, that we can work with existing systems and outside systems to create resources for self and community and importantly, that we can overcome adversity and build a whole, balanced, and successful life. And I know we want that for all our (trans)women around the world. We need for our mission to promote racial, social, and economic justice for trans youth, with freedom to self-define gender identity and expression. I love my people and I want us all to succeed. It won’t be long before I’m out and I want to be involved with all those who are willing to step up and get ready for a revolution, and it will not be televised!
Before I go I want to give a shout-out to Janet Mock, for shouting me out in her wonderful interview about trans issues and her life from Marie Claire with Colorlines. Thank you for being such a strong, successful, positive (trans) women and showing us in a non-typical and stereotypical idea in the media. Much love to you lady! xo
This will be it for now, and I’ll be sure to follow up on this and on my future leaders. TTYL my lovelies!
“If you can achieve the thought, you can make it happen!”
This post was originally written to a gathering of CeCe McDonald’s family, friends, and Support Committee, which she organized from within the Hennepin County jail. The letter was written a few weeks before her trial was set to begin. She asked us to share it with the greater public as a blog post.
April 12, 2012
A couple of days ago I woke up and felt drained so I found some inspiration in the Bible. I usually don’t read the Bible, but that day it called for me. And as usual I don’t go looking, yet I let it lead me, and it took me to 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, verses 1 through 13, which gave me strength & peace. It talks about love, which is the best way of all. It says,
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I had the understanding of a child. When I became a [wo]man I put childish ways behind me. Now we see only a dim likeness of things. It is as if we were seeing them in a mirror. But someday we will see clearly. We will see face to face. What I know now is not complete. But someday I will know completely, just as God knows me completely. The three most important things to have are faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of them is love.”(1Cor 13:11-13)
This passage was almost poetry to me, but most importantly I acknowledged and understood what the scripture was telling me. For a long time in my own life I struggled to know the identity of love. I searched high and low, and the wanting of love resulted in me conceiving a false love for others and myself. And like the scripture said, I saw things more clearly and I’ve seen those things face to face in reality. When I have given up on love, whether it be with me, my family and friends, or even my partners, I realized that love is unending and cannot be avoided. And it started with myself. And all the while I searched and longed for love, and didn’t even love myself. So that’s where I started, and now I have enough love within me to love myself and all of you.
I love you all because you all invested in me what I could have not done on my own. Your own time, dedication, and emotions. And wherever it may have come from, it has given me the motivation and inspiration to fight for all of us. Society says that love is one way and very black and white, but we all know that love is a bustling highway and bursting with all vivid colors. They tell us who we can and can’t love, how we should love them, and why. And well, that’s not love at all because love is natural, organic, how it was intended to be before it was used for greed and manipulation. Love can never be manufactured!
Those who oppose us couldn’t stop the love which has, and was defined, to bring us all together. To give us the strength and the mental durability to go the distance and fight this evil who tells us we are wrong. We all were made in the image of God, and he makes no mistakes.
I love all of you, no matter what, and I believe in my heart that you love me too. We are all different with different beliefs and a different story to us all, but we are connected through that and our love for each other draws us closer. What’s most important is to love those who hate you and have wronged you, for they are wrong and they only see love on a one-way street. But they are still lost and do not know love at all. This situation I’m in would have made one second guess their own faith, trust, and love but I know where my heart and mind is. Plus, the support of all those I love lets me know there is no situation or hardship that I or any of us can’t overcome.
Now with everything in my life that has happened to me up until what I am facing now I know that God and love has brought me through it all and will continue to after it is done. I just want my love to spread throughout to inspire, to celebrate, to endure. To be patient, kind, understanding, loyal, and selfless, because that’s what love is. I know all our love can change the ways of the ignorant and the hearts that have been hardened. Not just for us now, but also for all the generations who will come after us. So that they can live and thrive and show each other love, vividly and honestly.
I love you all, and I give much thanks and appreciation.
This post was originally written to a gathering of CeCe McDonald’s family, friends, and supporters, which she organized from within the Hennepin County jail. She asked that the letter not be read until everyone was gathered to hear her words together. She wrote this letter the week after she accepted a plea agreement to a reduced charge of second degree manslaughter.
May 11, 2012
Hi everyone! Before I start, I just want to thank all of you and everyone who has invested their time, dedication, perseverance, and most importantly, the love and willingness to be open and allow the most personal parts of your inner-beings to be involved with this case and the metamorphosis of myself into a more spiritual, grounded, loving woman…I love you all and I thank you from the bottom of my bottomless heart with truth and sincerity. One thing I’ve learned, which was brought to my attention from a close friend, was that throughout this case, from the beginning to end, all of us have played a part in this “mirroring effect,” where we see each other as we saw ourselves, giving to each as we would, or have wanted to, for ourselves. And in each of us was that struggle, and that was also seen, so like we would have tried for ourselves we uplifted and encouraged each other to go beyond our natural selves and to have the faith to move mountains. And know that every day I look in the mirror, not only do I see myself, but I see all of our beautiful spirits together with one voice in a continuing struggle against hate and oppression, where we speak of love and TRUE FREEDOM. I want everyone to know they had a part in my evolution, whether it was a visit or a letter in the mail. Just know it made a difference in my life. And just as you did for me, I hope that I did the same for you.
Now, I know circumstances have taken a turn, and it probably wasn’t expected, or probably was. None of that actually matters. But what does was to know that even though there were those who thought they defeated us, we never threw in the towel. And to know I still had the support of all of you made my decision worthwhile. There were many reasons for my decision, but the most important things that mattered was being able to continue my works and the battle against hate in my freedom rather than in oppression, and also, just being able to be with all of you again. When I thought about all things, considering the situation, I realized that my true nature is to take responsibility for my part in the incident. That was the hardest part for me because I didn’t want to have that association of those ideas or even the feeling of knowing what I knew because I knew it wasn’t of my nature. But I realized trying to deny or escape it wouldn’t make it go away, as I have done with most things in my life. Once I was able to understand, acknowledge, and accept things as they were, I was able to grow from it and even attain the compassion and empathy for those who have wronged me in this situation, as well as those that have troubled me all my life. I know that this incident will always be a part of my life, but I made the decision to not let in continue to be a burden in my life, and no matter what path I may take after this I will not go into whatever may come with extra baggage or any regrets. And hopefully you all can also evolve and progress in life without holding on to the things that keep you from achieving self-enlightenment.
I’m pretty sure most people heard the saying “you can’t love anyone, if you don’t love yourself,” and that is true. But it goes beyond that. You can’t LIVE if you don’t love yourself. The fears and hate of a patriarchal society have told us that we don’t fit the mold. But no two people are alike, so what mold do they speak of? They implant in the mind and heart that if we aren’t them, then we’re wrong. And in most cases these psychological manipulations work, and those who “don’t fit the mold” try to fit it, or break themselves trying to. I was one of those people. On the verge of suicide trying to figure out why I wasn’t normal. Unfortunately, unlike myself, many young teens and even adults destroy themselves, whether it be mentally, spiritually, or even physically, trying to live up to something or someone they are not. But being true and loving yourself is true living and loving. Then in that a person can go beyond their natural selves and do things that were unimaginable to their own mind. Never doubt or underestimate your own abilities. We are all stronger, smarter, talented, beautiful, and resilient than we were told.
Now I know this for myself, as I want all people to know for themselves. The best things in life are truth, love, and knowledge. Even in the Bible it says, “There is gold. There are plenty of rubies. But lips that speak knowledge are a priceless jewel.” (Proverbs 20:15) What I try to give back is the knowledge I have attained throughout my lessons in life, and even though I’m only 23 years young, I’ve been told I’ve been around for hundreds of thousands of years (LOL). And I just want to share what I know with all of you, and also to leave for future generations who will need these words to be people of love and understanding. My love now is unconditional and everlasting. My pride is still intact, but my humbleness is overflowing. I know things about myself that I never imagined. I hate that it took an incident of this magnitude to show me, and all of us, who we really are and what we are capable of. My message to everyone is to go beyond your natural self, live and love freely, be true to your heart and never hide who you are! Love is eternal and will always prevail. I love you all sooooo much, and whatever awaits my future I know the love and support will keep me pushing for inner strength and knowledge. I want to thank everyone again for EVERYTHING! Now, go live and love freely!
Truth Power Princess A.K.A.
Just like the triumph of a warrior’s journey
Just like the love and strength that I have given
Just like the rewards of a bee’s honey
I now have victory, because I have risen”
Sometimes I feel blank, like a canvas. Waiting for its oils and pastels and watercolors to help bring out its true colors. To become the Monet or Mona Lisa of this reality. I dream for the paints of life to create my beautiful existence. Where vibrant colors aren’t just seen, misunderstood. But taken for all their glories. Bright and Beautiful like you and I… we are the colors. And without the colors our lives will be blank. Like the untouched canvas, mundane and lacking.
Our canvases are created to be filled, which is condign. And the colors of our lives are to consume the canvas to express love, joy, individuality, growth and all the pictures that express our lives. And as we are the canvas, we are also the illustrator. And with every stroke of the brush, we decide how our art of life will be. Pictures full of lifes achievements and the possibilities. Creators of our own masterpieces, how will you depict your picture? Will you leave your canvas blank and unfulfilled, or will your tableaux show all that life as to offer?
And so, I ask that you all will not leave your canvases undone. Use every color imaginable to show who you are inside and out, for every tint and every hue counts. And as you create your picture remember you are the illustrator, so no one can create your picture but you. So make it the most precious and most beautiful picture that you can, with love, truth, and joy in every color.
To the many of us who have struggled, being of the GLBTQ community, this is for you. To those who have triumphed over the idea of conforming to this fascist, hateful society, this is for you. But most importantly, this is for all of our loved ones who have become victims of hate crimes and domestic violence being of the GLBTQ community, specifically Trans men and women, who are singled out and have the highest percentage of victims of hate crimes and domestic violence. My love and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those who have lost a friend, a brother or sister, a mother or father, an auntie, uncle or cousin, or a partner or spouse to this epidemic. To all those unfortunate cases, this is for you.
In the memories of those who we have lost, it is our duty to put an effort to make a change. We should not have to sit back in the fear of our own lives and well being, or the lives and well being of those we love and care for due to the hate that exist and threatens our safety. We should not have to mourn for the lives of the people we love and have lost due to hate and careless acts. We have to stand up against those who put us down and try to oppress us. We have to enlighten the neophobics of this world and to help them realize the vast and diverse world we live in. because as long as [we] live in fear, [we] live in ignorance.
I thank the lord everyday for keeping me here and giving me such a profound mouth and mind to share my experiences and the trials and tribulations I’ve overcame, because honestly, I never thought I would make it past my 16th birthday. To grow up and have that thought at a young age is unsettling. The thought or feeling of knowing or expecting that today could be my last day on earth, only because someone hates me for being the person I felt would make my life happiest, or for being in an abusive and controlling relationship with someone who has no regards or remorse as to how they treat their partner is an unsettling thought. But it’s more unsettling to know that this is our reality, and that these are the issues we have to face on a day-to-day basis. And even with all that we choose to live our lives, and to continue living them proudly with gumption, bravery, and love in our minds and hearts. I know I still have faith in people, and am willing to make a change if they are willing as well.
We all grow up in different communities, with different social categorizations, but when it comes to being GLBTQ, sometimes we’re excluded and put into a category of it’s own, that is demeaning and belittling, and that no matter where you are we are singled out. I grew up in a community that was predominately African-American people. And with the fact of me just being a minority in this society was bad, being African American and trans is an ultimate challenge. I can remember having loaded guns being put to my head and being beat until bloody. Or walking downs the street and being yelled “ a faggot”. I thought because of their ignorance I decided to change my surroundings. So I moved to a suburban community, which were predominately white people. Then, I remember people grabbing their purses and children, like I was a thief and was going to steal their money and kids, and to still be yelled “queer” or “faggot”, which made me feel upset and that my efforts of leaving one community to another, went without victory. Also being a victim of domestic violence was also an issue that I had to deal with in my early teenage years. And fortunately I got out of that situation.
The point I was trying to make was that no matter where you go, or community you live in, people will continue to discriminate. And as long as we do not stand up for our equality, we allow them to have the upper hand against us. We allow for them to feel that’s its okay to verbally and physically attack us. And I feel that it is our duty to give these people the awareness and education about whom we truly are, and not whom they assume we are. We have to make sure that we won’t lose any more of our loved ones due to hate crimes and domestic violence. These problems are often over-looked when it comes to GLBTQ people because people feel that it isn’t as important if it happened to a straight person. Which is ironic because these problems affect us disproportionately. I feel that it is our duty to change the minds of those neophobics, because as long as [we] live in fear, [we] live in ignorance.
We have to be the matriarchs of this society. To start teaching our younger generations about hate, and why it’s so important not to hate. We have to end the bullying and harassment in our school systems. To organize more community actions and awareness about hate crimes and how to stop them from happening. We need to be leaders and role models for all to learn from. And from that we would be able to help and comfort someone who is unsure about his or her own sexual identity and preference. We will be able to eliminate people’s fears of being victims of hate crimes and domestic violence. To help someone to accept and be comfortable as whomever they choose to be, with no judgments or stereotypic labels attached.
And to all my brothers and sisters of the GLBTQ community, this is for us all. This is for those who are still here, and for those who have passed. With love and determination we can be the leaders. We can make a change. Because, see, what people fail to realize is that, even through their hate, bigotry, conforming, and biased views and actions that are enforced upon us,… love is inevitable and overcomes any and all things. And as long as love is in our mind and hearts, it can show us, even in fear, how to be leaders and role models, to be the leaders to show how to overcome the hate and oppression. Love is powerful enough to change the hearts of the neophobics in this world. Because as long as [we] live in fear, [we] live in ignorance.